[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 7, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(6):382. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490060036005

A case of puerperal septicemia recovered after the intravenous injection of formalin solution. We are told that the case was regarded as hopeless and that the effect of the formalin injection was "magical." This episode has been exploited in a sensational manner in the daily press and it has been heralded in medical journals as a discovery and an epoch in the history of medicine. While all would welcome the demonstration of a successful treatment of septicemia, there is unfortunately the very best of reasons for questioning the correctness of the inference that the recovery in the case referred to resulted directly or indirectly from the injection of formalin. The reasons for this doubt may be presented under two heads, namely, (1) the now well-known occurrence of spontaneous recovery from various forms of septicemia, or blood poisoning, and (2) the inadequacy of available evidence to show that formalin solution has

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview